The Internal Revenue Service has rolled out a new online tool that’s built to help families register for monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments. The tool is tailored to the needs of families who are eligible for the advance payments, but don’t normally file an income tax return.
The Non-Filer Sign-Up tool, though, does more than just register taxpayers for the CTC payments. It can also help these taxpayers register for the third round of Economic Impact Payments or claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any of the first two rounds of EIPs they may have missed.
The challenge for the IRS is to get eligible individuals who don’t normally make enough income to file a yearly tax return to give their information to the agency so they can actually receive the CTC advance payments. The IRS needs the basic information—such as name, address, Social Security numbers and information on dependents—to figure and issue the CTC advances.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says many times, these individuals and families may have little or no income; they may even be experiencing homelessness, or be a part of another underserved group.
"We have been working hard to begin delivering the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit to millions of families with children in July," said Commissioner Rettig. "This new tool will help more people easily gain access to this important credit as well as help people who don't normally file a tax return obtain an Economic Impact Payment. We encourage people to review the details about this important new effort."
No action needed by most eligible taxpayers
The new tool should not be used by families who’ve already filed—or plan to file—2019 or 2020 income tax returns. Also, those who want to claim other tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low- and moderate-income families, shouldn’t use the online tool, but should file a regular tax return instead.
The IRS also reminds that there are scams related to the Advance Child Tax Credit payments and Economic Impact Payments. The only way to get either of these payments is to either file a tax return with the IRS, or to register online using the Non-Filer Sign-Up tool. It is available only on IRS.gov. Any other option is a scam.
For more information on the Advance Child Tax Credit payments, check out our Taxing Subjects blog.
More tools are on the way
The IRS says it will update its Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page in the coming weeks with some new tools, including:
- An interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility assistant to help families determine whether they qualify for the Advance Child Tax Credit payments.
- Another tool, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will initially enable anyone who has been determined to be eligible for advance payments to see that they are eligible and unenroll or opt out of the advance payment program. Later, it will allow people to check on the status of their payments, make updates to their information and be available in Spanish.